Plumbers and electricians the most in-demand tradespeople in 2020

Plumbers and electricians we’re the busiest tradespeople during 2020, according to a new survey.

In collaboration with Rated People, Vanarama quizzed 1,000 Brits to find out which trades were most in demand in 2020. Who were the busiest, why they were needed, and if the lockdown affected consumer attitudes.

64% respondents needed help from a tradesperson during 2020, with 52% saying that more time around the house during lockdown had made them more aware of issues that needed fixing. This demand for tradespeople led to some noticeable wait times, with 29% claiming that they’d had to hold on for longer than usual to book in a tradesperson’s time.

Key findings: 

  • Plumbers (23%) and electricians (11%) were the most in demand tradespeople in 2020
  • 1/5 of respondents spent more than £1000 on tradespeople during 2020
  • Gardens (13%), Kitchens (12%) and Bathrooms (12%) needed the most work in 2020
  • 20% of respondents admitted causing a DIY issue that required calling a tradesperson to fix
  • Over 2/3 of respondents (68%) said that they were comfortable with tradespeople in their home during lockdown

The Most In-Demand Tradespeople in 2020

  • Plumber – 23%
  • Electrician – 11%
  • Builder – 9%
  • Gardener – 8%
  • Painter/Decorator – 7%
  • Joiner – 6%

The survey findings show that plumbers and electricians were most in-demand in 2020, most likely due to them being used much more than usual with people working from home during the lockdown. These results lined up with what Rated People too.

According to Rated People CEO Adrienne Minster:

“Thousands of people have turned to professional tradespeople this year to help them turn their visions into reality. At Rated People, we’ve seen a natural increase of 7% more jobs being posted for tradespeople compared to last year, so there has definitely been a rise in demand for their services, despite what you might expect with a pandemic.

“Overall, we’ve seen most demand for plumbers. We put that down to them being available for home emergencies and necessary fixes that won’t wait.”

She went on to provide some additional details on specifics of what jumped YoY from December 2019 to December 2020:

“Different trades have been busiest at different points of the year. Driveway pavers and bathroom fitters are seeing the biggest jump in demand compared to this time last year. In the first week of December, driveway pavers had 33% more jobs to choose from on Rated People compared to last year and bathroom fitters had 22% more.”

How Much Did Brits Spend on Tradespeople During 2020?

  • £10,001+ – 7%
  • £5,001-£10,000 – 3%
  • £1,001-£5,000 – 9%
  • £501-£1,000 – 8%
  • £251-£500 – 9%
  • £101-£250 – 10%
  • £1-£100 – 54%

Most people spent £100 or less showing that it’s odd-jobs and quick fixes that have been keeping tradespeople busy during a tougher year as opposed to large-scale work.

2/3 of Brits Were Happy to Have Tradespeople in Their Home During Lockdown Over 2/3 of respondents (68%) said that they were comfortable with tradespeople in their home during lockdown. While the majority are comfortable having people in to do work, a shocking 20% are still uneasy with letting a tradesperson use their toilet.

Which Area of Brits’ Homes Needed the Most Work in 2020?

  • Garden – 13%
  • Bathroom – 12%
  • Kitchen – 12%
  • Living Room – 8%
  • Home Exterior – 7%
  • Bedroom – 6%

Gardens topped the list for being the area of Brits’ homes that needed the most work in 2020. This was also a trend identified by Rated People – who had this to add:

“Outdoor trades like gardening were protected from any dips in confidence about welcoming tradespeople into homes, and at times where we’ve not been able to socialise as we normally would, our gardens have offered us an escape from feeling like we’re stuck inside.”

“The weather has played its part too! We had a really warm summer and thousands of people couldn’t travel abroad like they normally would. Instead, they invested into improving their own outside spaces, so they could sit out and make the most of the sunshine. From when the first lockdown was announced up until the end of September, homeowners in the UK posted over 45,000 gardening jobs on our platform to find professional gardeners.”